Although some of the very best beaches in the world are located in the Outer Hebrides and on the mainland of north-west Scotland, great expanses of white sand are not to be found on Skye. But there are beaches of various kinds around the island, and some of them are very fine in their own way. If you are lucky enough to find hot weather, and you fancy a bit of a paddle to cool down, here are some suggestions.
Camas a' Mhòr Bheòil, (or Braes Beach) has a lot going for it:
Camas Ban, Portree
Camas Ban is Portree's only sandy beach. You might think that would make it a busy place on a warm summer day, but it seldom is. Back in the early twentieth century small boats would ferry hoards of people back and forth across the bay from Portree Pier to Camas Ban. Today you either need your own small boat (a sea kayak is ideal) or you need to take a short pathless hike over some rough ground and down a steep slope to the sand. If you are reasonably fit it isn't too difficult - and you might even get the whole beach to yourselves.
Camas Daraich, at the far south of Skye, is one of the best places on the island to spend a warm, sunny day. It's a bit of a hike from the nearest road though....
The coral beaches at Claigan, north of Dunvegan, are a mile of so from the nearest road. Directions and more information can be found here, in the hiking section of the Skye Guide.
Glen Brittle Beach
At the head of Loch Brittle is a big beach. There is sand here at all states of the tide, and plenty of space for playing, kite flying and the like. The sand is not white, but that apart it is a beautiful spot. An added advantage here is the nearby campsite shop for ice lollies and cold drinks. (Or hot drinks and survival blankets, if you're less lucky)
There is parking for cars right by the beach. Go to the end of the road just before the entrance to the camp site, at NG409206.
Staffin is home to a couple of beaches. There are some good spots on the main bay if you are prepared to seek them out, but there is easier access to a small area of sand just before the end of the road to Staffin Community Slipway, at NG490686. As well as the sea and sand, you can find some quite astonishing dinosaur footprints here too.
If walking from Staffin itself, there is a path across the hill from the Columba 1400 Leadership Centre in the township.
The beach at Talisker is a short, easy walk from the road. It is in a spectacular setting at the foot of Glen Oraid, sandwiched between impressive high cliffs, and with a huge sea stack and waterfalls to add to the scene. There is a wide sweep of sand below a bank of coarse shingle, though the available beach is much limited on high tides. Best to check tide times when planning a visit...
Torrin has a well hidden little sandy beach at NG577199 that is worth seeking out. Often you will share it only with cattle, and the views southwards down Loch Slapin to Eigg are fine.
To get to the beach requires a bit of a walk from Torrin itself. Head down the narrow road that runs southwards from the cattle grid at NG580206. When you reach the end of the road you will pick up arough path through the trees and bushes that will take you right to the sand.
The beaches at Waterloo, near Broadford, have wide expanses of sand at low tide and great views northwards of the Inner Sound and its islands. Great for kites and games, or just strolling on the sand and exploring the rock pools. There is little or no shelter from the winds here, so comfortable sunbathing would need an exceptional day.
The road to Waterloo leaves the A87 just south of Broadford, at NG659230.